Bosnia and Herzegovina Border Police announced that over the weekend there was an increase in vehicle traffic at border crossings with Serbia by up to 73% cents compared to last weekend.
“During the last three days, from March 26th to March 28th, a total of 29,737 BiH citizens registered at the crossings with Serbia, marking a 73% increase compared to the previous weekend,” Franka Vican, a spokeswoman for Border Police N1
She explains that 17,135 BiH citizens registered to enter and leave BiH for Serbia from March 19th to 21st.
This increase reflects the decision of the Serbian authorities to vaccinate all those interested, regardless of whether they are Serbs or citizens of countries in the region. While BiH is still struggling to secure vaccines, many citizens from both entities (Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH) accepted the “invitation” and traveled to Serbian cities to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. A number of those, mostly Bosniaks from the Federation of BiH, who refused to go listed a number of reasons. One of the most common reasons was that vaccines are close to their expiration date and, therefore, vaccination is either unsafe or their effectiveness has deteriorated. A large group of Bosniaks who oppose vaccination in Serbia do so for political reasons or, better yet, patriotism. As they claim, it is not moral to use Serbia as it was one of BiH’s enemies during the 1990 war.
Former reis ul ule of the Islamic Community of BiH, Mustafa Cerić, shot at the leader of the predominantly Bosniak Party of Democratic Action, Bakir Izetbegovii, saying he did not buy enough vaccines for BiH citizens and that was why they were forced to go to Serbia.
“It is not clear to me how it is possible, Bakir, that you have not been able to get two or three million vaccines for Bosnian citizens. I assure you that all you had to do was knock on the door of our Bosniak friends all over the world, especially from Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who have a surplus of vaccines and who would be happy to “They provided us with vaccines so that people would not have to go to Serbia to buy health, at the cost of their honor and pride,” Cerić said in a message to Bakir Izetbegović.
He further asks himself: “How can anyone in the Bosnian government sleep at night watching the lines of Bosnian citizens running towards Serbia, which has done so much damage to their body and soul, which denies genocide, which does not there is sensitivity to the pain of suffering, but, well, is there a pity for their fear of the coronavirus to vaccinate them? Has any of the Bosnian doctors from Bosnia checked the content and quality of these vaccines that our people receive in Serbia?
“During the war, under the embargo, we knew and could take up arms in defense against Serbian aggression. “And now you, Bakir, are not able to get vaccines for Bosnian citizens, who are forced to go to Serbia for health because of your inertia and insensitivity.”
Despite the criticism, BiH citizens still apply for vaccinations in Serbia. A large crowd at the border can be expected in a few weeks from now, when citizens who were vaccinated in recent days are expected to travel to Serbia to receive their second dose.